Archiact’s vision of the next generation of VR combat gaming has arrived to PlayStation VR, Steam and Oculus, today.
First person shooter (FPS) game Evasion is fast-paced with AI infused enemies and swarm-like behavior systems. Players can choose between four different characters: the Striker, Surgeon, Engineer or Warden to change game play tactics. Each has unique characteristics from the nimble Striker to the heavyset and powerful Warden. With these characters, it’s possible to play solo or in multiplayer to battle against the swarms of alien Optera.
It’s with no doubt that the team behind Evasion has massively improved on mobility compared to other popular games like Gorn that features mobility via “skiing” and Trickster VR that primarily uses teleportation. When testing out Evasion last week at Archiact’s HQ in Vancouver, Eric Hine, VP of Strategic Partnerships and Business Solutions at Archiact, said that movement and locomotion is something they’ve focused on since the very beginning of the game’s design.
“And not only that, but really promoting dodging and ducking,” said Senior Game Designer Ian Rooke.
In order for players to focus on game play, it’s crucial that movement is intuitive and works well with various combinations of shields, weapons and other in-game interactions.
I had two opportunities to run through Evasion, once in single player with the HMD (Head Mounted Device/ headset) Odyssey by Samsung, and then in multiplayer on PSVR. While the VR hardware played a big part in game play experience it was really the multi-player option that was the game changer.
Richard Drozdik, VR/AR Quality Assurance Lead at Archiact, totally saved the day battling off enemy Optera alongside my newb attempts with the Striker- that just happened to have the smallest shield and a weapon intended for extreme precision.
As a hint to first time players, Evasion’s enemy AI characteristics are all based on insect like behavior when they swarm and pattern. For example, the Skimmers are inspired by mosquitoes. They’ll swarm around very quickly and then pause to shoot, and this is a great time to shoot back at them, said Rooke.
Another example is the Weavers that move in zig-zagging patterns like ants, but much much faster. I can’t give too many spoilers though so when to defend against and attack these enemies you’ll have to find out in game play.
But watch out, as these AI equipped enemies will also duck and dodge based on your movements. “They are definitely focused on you and as soon as they spawn they are coming after you with everything they’ve got. They’ll essentially try to position themselves between you and your goal. They’re trying to push you back and that is their main focus,” said Rooke.
It’s possible to either physically duck and crouch, or to use a controller option. When looking down, you can see your ‘feet’, but while there are no actual motion tracking sensors for your feet, the design team has done a great job to position life-like stances based on other tracking coordinates.
“The main thing I want to convey about the game is that it’s all about the intensity. I want players to jump in there and to have this exiting/ panicky experience where they are yelling, laughing and running for their lives,” said Rooke.
Priced at $39 USD, this is in the range of other top end games currently available in VR. “We priced it this way because we feel the quality warrants the price,” said Hine. Evasion is Archiact’s first AAA high quality multiplayer game. It runs a base play time of four hours (with no defeats!) and has additional survival missions that add 1-2 hours of game play. Again, it’s the multiplayer option that adds great re-play value.
You can find Evasion on Steam here, and post comments on your game play experience here, with The Boolean.